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October 03, 1985 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-10-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

OPINION
Page 4 Thursday, October 3, 1985 The Michigan Daily

Toast

on a stick

Channel 4 desecrates comedy'sfinest hour

It's an outrage.
You would think, as affluent pseudo-
intellectual Ann Arborites, that we would
have a cultural edge over Ohio, a place
where tipping cows is considered a rowdy
night out. But because of some money-
grubbing capitalists, Ann Arbor trails
Toledo in class.
Apparently, the folks over at WDIV, an

Eric

Mattson
NBC affiliate in Detroit, believe that Hal
Linden is more important than David Let-
terman. That would explain their programming
schedule. Instead of showing "Late Night
with David Letterman" at 12:30 a.m., as all
decent, God-fearing television stations do,
David is pre-empted by reruns of "Barney
Mattson is a Daily reporter. His
column appears on alternate Thursdays.

Miller."
That's not the way they do things in Toledo,
a town made famous by a man who wears a
dress. Even in Ohio, they understand the
importance of comedy.
It's possible to get the Letterman show on
Toledo's channel 13, but it's just not the
same. The reception is awful, and for some
reason, the Fugitive Guy loses his impact
when you can't see his great hair-do.
Those of you who have never seen Let-
terman-and your number is few-may not
realize the audio-visual implications of this.
"Late Night" is a comedy mecca, a haven of
humor, the one bright spot in the cultural
wasteland of television. It's also very, very.
funny.
Both the general manager and program-,
ming director at WDIV failed to return my
phone calls, so their motivation for pushing
back Letterman is unclear. My guess is that
they're late-night fun-haters with poor
hygiene, but a spokesman for NBC in New
York offered another explanation:
By showing reruns at 12:30, the station
makes more money because it doesn't have

to share any ad revenue with the network.
The spokesman said the network prefers
its affiliates to run the Letterman show at
12:30, but "there's not a thing the show can
do about it" because the stations are in-
dependently owned.
Some of you may be thinking that a half-
hour is really not that long to wait for a show
like Letterman's. You're absolutely right. I
know some Letterman fans who would get
up at 5 a.m. to watch Viewer Mail. But what
about David's followers who have 9 a.m.
classes? Should they have to wait an extra
half-hour just so WDIV can make more
money? Let's face it, capitalism only goes
so far. Go ahead and exploit the masses.
Send unwed mothers to work in coal
mines-it won't bother me. I just can't stand
to see good TV raped and pillaged.
But the atrocities don't end there.
Becuase WDIV can't tape the show and air it
simultaneously, we are fed a diet of day-old
Letterman. We have to wait 24 hours
longer than the rest of the country to see
Dave drop stuff off a five-story building. If
ever there was a case for bloody revolution,

this is it.
If I stand alone, my feelings on this won't
change anything. I can write letters to
WDIV General Manger Amy Micone until
my fingers fall off, but she won't care. She
would probably laugh contemptuously and
say, "You miserable fun-lover. You
ignorant, pathetic peon. I make the
decisions around here." Then she would
cackle insidiously and fly away on her
broom.
But you-yes, you, reading the
newspaper - can make a difference. You can
put David, Paul, and Larry "Bud" Melman
in their proper places. The answer is as
simple as Amy Micone's mind: toast on a
stick. All you have to do is find a stick-a
pencil will do-and spear a piece of bread
with it. Toast it to a delicious golden brown,
then smear it with gobs of honey or jelly.
Put it in an envelope, along with a polite
note suggesting that the Letterman show be
.aired at 12:30,not 1 a.m., and send it to Amy
Micone, WDIV-TV, 550 W. Lafayette,
Detroit, 48226.
This is an issue all college students can

embrace with pride. The College
Republicans and Progressive Student Net-
work will join as one. The staffs of the
Michigan Review and The Michigan Daily
will link arms and chant, "Hey, hey, ho, ho
Barney Miller has got to go."
It's not hopeless. At Louisiana State
University, a few hopeful students made a
difference. Cyril Vetter, who owns the NBC
affiliate in Baton Rouge, was going to put on
"All in the Family" instead of Letterman
last year because Dave's ratings weren't too
hot. Vetter didn't realize what he had done.
"The students at LSU just went berserk," he
said recently. They sent letters, they held
rallies, they staged a terrorist raid on the
station. And it worked. Vetter put the show
back on the air.
That's the sort of action we, as students of
the University of Michigan and citizens of
the United States of America, must take. If
you want to join the cause, call me at 76-
DAILY. Make out your contribution checks
to "Operation SAVE DAVE" and send them
to me at 420 Maynard, Ann Arbor, 48109.
Phone the neighbors, wake the kids. And
give Dave a chance.

1.

+rw 31E11441U 1aUT1
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCVI, No. 21

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

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4

4

n a quiet move two weeks ago,
the student government at the
University of California, Berkeley
instituted a boycott of IBM per-
sonal computers because of that
company's operations in Africa.
According to a- representative at
the Investor Responsibility
Research Center, this will cost IBM
millions in sales. Since then similar
initiatives have been presented.
The echo of Berkeley's boycott is
being heard in speeches at Swar-
thmore, the University of
Massachusetts at Boston and Har-
vard.
IBM views itself as a thinking
person's company-a company of
the future. At the same time, IBM
professes to stand for development
of all countries with its aid in com-
puter technology. In the past, IBM
has defended its operation in South
Africa by pointing to its own em-
ployment practices there and its
programs for Black Education.
However, in South Africa it
becomes clear that high-tech
development is not automatically
salutory. South Africa's pass-book
system operates with the use of
IBM mainframe computers. True,
IBM no longer sells directly to the
apartheid government, but the fact
remains that high-tech in the hand
of South Africa's white settler
regime creates more than a few
chilling reminders of George Or-
well's 1984.
1984 is past, but apartheid seems
bent on going beyond Orwell's
wildest fantasies of repression. Is
this the future that IBM is showing
us?
Students have a special relation-
ship to IBM and the whole com-
puter industry. Employment op-
portunities are increasingly tied to
the information revolution and no
student in 1985 can exnect to escape

puter companies are willing to give
price breaks to younger users who
will develop brand loyalties in their
initial years of computer use.
Students cannot simply abandon
their tools to protest corporate in-
volvement in South Africa. Never-
theless, they are able to hit IBM at
its most vulnerable spot.
Recent months have seen IBM
cancel production of the PCjr; Ap-
ple lay off a fifth of its workers and
close half its plants; Wang shut its
factories for two weeks and all the
personal computer companies face
a disappointing market where
there is cut-throat competition.
IBM and the other companies
desperately need a smooth Christ-
mas season.
Surely, IBM cannot afford to lose
the University for its pesonal
computers. Neither Apple or
Zenith, which are sold through the
University, operate in South
Africa. Indeed, Michigan-based
Zenith's personal computer is IBM
compatible and less expensive than
IBM'S. The University has also just
started repair services for faculty,
staff, and students.
The attack on IBM's bottom line
is especially timely. In addition to
its vulnerability at home, IBM is
already uncomfortable with its
situation in S. Africa. The New
York Times reported last month
that IBM is "very
discouraged' by the 'rapidly
deteriorating' conditions" and that
it is considering departure.
The Boycott of IBM personal
computers will do nothing to salve
anyone's conscience since so many
American companies do the same
or worse as IBM. Rather the
boycott of IBM is a temporary and
opportunist measure to hasten
apartheid's inevitable collapse and
American corporate withdrawal

4

LETTERS
Regents should reconsider SDI vote

To the Daily:
Last Friday, the University
Regents approved a resolution of-
fered one day earlier by Revent
Deane Baker, that "scholars who
wish to participate in Strategic
Defense Initiative ("Star Wars")
Research are encouraged to un-
dertake that research." Because
the Regents made the decision in
great haste, without benefit of
open discussion, I suggest they
reconsider their vote and post-
pone making any statement on
this extremely important issue
until they and the University
community have had the oppor-
tunity to educate themselves and
to engage in public debate.
The regents seem to view their
vote as a simple stand in favor of
academic freedom. But
academic freedon is a complex
issue, especially when it is linked
to questions about research on
the campus and the appropriate
role of a university. If academic
freedom involves the right of
scholars to engage in the resear-
ch of their choice, then the
Regents should, in dealing with
the subject, examine all the con-
straints that might impinge upon
that freedom. If billions of dollars
are available for "Star Wars"

freedom? Initiative
On October 4 and 5, the Univer- hope to s
sity will host a national conferen- well as
ce on "The Strategic Defense Universit
Author wrong to
To the Daily mediocr
Mr. Honigman's essay, and juni
"Stifling the middle student," tinue to
(Daily, Sept. 10) stands as a cellence
disgraceful exercise in the scholarly
modern habit of eulogizing This h
mediocrity. remain
Combining his misguided views
with a dishonest attempt at p
scholarly analysis ("Somethingl sAi c
like this happened in medicine te
until doctors of osteopathy broke To the Da
the AMA's monopoly."), Mr. Michae
Honigman is convinced that the on the
discouraging incompetence and "pARTy
laziness is the high price we pay diverse
for one of the finest academic 20) was
systems in the world. Need he be one of ti
reminded that there can only be a passing4
handful of superstars and that, tivities, a
"there is room at the top for only written.
a few," by the very definition of The ev4
these terms?
The obvious solution is not for Lett
our professorial role models to
step down into the ranks of the spaced

e and Universities." I
ee the Regents there, as
other members of the
1y community alerted
eulogize
e but rather for students
ior professionals to con-
strive to achieve ex-
in their chosen fields of
y activity.
atter achievement must
the mission of any
.R Ty story
aily :
el Drongowski's article
Art Association and
" ("Street party offers
activities," Daily, Sept.
wonderful. I think it is
;he best articles encom-
our history, current ac-
nd so forth that has been
ent was a grand success

now by the Regents vote to the
importance of this issue.
-Helen Isaacson
September 22
mediocrity'
university. Mr. Honigman's imn-
plicit belief that high standardsof
excellence have a "crippling ef-
fect" on higher education are
contrary to this mission.
-Ramesh A. Shivdasani
September 11
hit the mark
for us, and we thank you for the
interest and enthusiasm your ar-
ticle generated.
-Marsha Chamberlin
September
Chamberlin is executive
director of the Ann Arbor
Art Association.

v

ers to the Daily should by typed, triple-
, and signed by the individual authors.

ifv? geugt.& UsatheAd

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